Nave, Looking East. Cathedral, Lincoln Gothic, XIII Cent.
INTERVIEW WITH CALVERT SHENK (JUNE 22, 2001)
Kurt Poterack: Tell me about how you got started in church music and your career up to this point.
Calvert Shenk: Like many people I began with piano lessons as a small boy which rather early migrated to organ lessons-about age twelve-and that, more and more, became an interesting thing to me. I ended up majoring in organ and church music in college at Northwestern where I took my Bachelors in Music in 1962 and my Masters in 1963, and from that point on was a full-time church musician with one or two small interruptions. That was an interesting time to do that, of course, because pretty much the same time I graduated from college I came into the Church. In 1962, to be exact, just the year that they began the Council. So I prepared a pre-Conciliar repertoire and ap proach. About the time the Council was in full swing, I was drafted into the army in 1964 and came out in 1966 to find that everything had pretty much been swept away at least for the time being. I had a full-time church job in Battle Creek, MI, for quite a long time (18 years), in Milwaukee for about five years, and for eleven years I was di rector of music at the Cathedral in Birmingham, AL. And then, about a year ago, I took up my present position at the major seminary in Detroit as director of music and asso ciate professor of music.
KP: You said that, in a sense, you were trained for the pre-Conciliar Church. CS: That would be a bit of an over-statement in that my actual training as a church musician was not under Catholic auspices at all. I had to train myself to a large degree as far as specifically Catholic elements in regard to chant and liturgy (and things like